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Cheaper airfare: Orbitz, Travelocity drop booking fees

The two travel sites have followed Expedia and Priceline in dropping fees and trying to entice people to fly during a down economy.

One of my favorite getaways is Troncones, Mexico Greg Sandoval/CNET Networks

Buying airfare online continues to get cheaper.

Web travel sites Orbitz and Travelocity have followed Expedia in forgoing booking fees they had charged for domestic and international flights.

On Monday, Orbitz announced that it had permanently done away with the fees, which range from $7 to $12, and Travelocity said it would continue to waive the fees.

The slumping economy has forced vacationers and business travelers to stick closer to home this year. Online travel services are reducing prices in the hope that they can make up the lost revenue from a fee reduction in volume, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Reuters quoted an analyst who was skeptical that the booking fees won't reappear at the online travel sites. He noted that the fees make up a big portion of their revenue.

The lesson here is better to enjoy the deals while you can.